Posted by: jbarnesca | November 5, 2013

SB 43 Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program

The new solar legislative program starting in 2014 is the SB 43 program from Senator Wolk that was approved by Gov. Brown on Sept. 28th 2013.

After much back and forth during the spring and summer in Sacramento with this and another competing bill proposal the final legislation is not very specific in enforcement of rules for a utility with 100,000 or more customers in CA.  It allows each to propose there own program/programs that must adhere to the legislative intent with CPUC approval.

Two requirements are that the total statewide customer participation must be 600MWs and that 100MWs of capacity come from areas previously identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the most impacted and disadvantaged communities.

For me the most important short term item is that green tariff shared renewables programs that had been filed prior to May 1, 2013 are exempt from this new legislation, especially if a settlement has been reached.  So the PG&E Green Option Tariff and the SDG&E Share the Sun programs can move forward in a somewhat fast manner in 2014. A consolidation of the proceedings for the PG&E and SDG&E tariff has occurred.  SCE has not shown their proposals to my knowledge at the present time.

The PG&E Green Option Tariff program has PG&E administrating the program for their customers, using present or acquired facilities. “The Renewable Power Rate charged to participating customers initially will be set at $107/MWh.”

Details of the PG&E Green Option Tariff at present require 30MW to be acquired for this program each year at a minimum using “current or newly approved RPS solicitation programs”.

There are many, many details of these coming programs to understand in detail as several versions could exist among all the participating utilities in CA.  The legislation requires new programs to be presented by July 1, 2014.



  1. Who do you think will benefit from this ? Do you see any potential new markets for developers ? Other players ?

    • Hello,

      We believe that this is a new market for developers in California. One can compare this as a “poor” version of the very successful “virtual net metering” program in MA. There will be different versions allowed between SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E and all will be finalized maybe by the summer time for implementation in 2015 or so.

      We are very focused on being experts in this new development market for CA, of course.

      • So it is too early to say how SB43 will be implemented…
        Could you advise me on any good readings on the subject?

  2. Anxious to hear what SCE will implement around SB43. Soon.

  3. In the legislation it mentions that a participating utility shall file on or before March 1st, 2014 an application requesting approval to implement a program. I can seem to find these applications, as I assume they are privately filed then the PUC makes a decision by July 1st? Would there be a public comment period after the PUC makes their decision?

    • Kareem,
      Remember that PG&E and SDG&E will first implement their prior proposed programs that were in motion. SCE submitted their proposal also in the last couple of months. I will try to get that info later this week.

      But basically SCE will attempt to procure any new capacity with present procurement programs in place. What they are trying to do is use the RAM for this an no new procurement program just for SB 43 implementation. PG&E is attempting to do the same.

      There should be comment periods allowed, but I do not know the timing at the moment.

  4. John,
    After reading this last comment, it would suggest the PGE and SCE both want to control administration of renewable energy opportunity to their respected customers and through legislative BS bypass the SB43 requirement of 600MW. If I am a developer and have already secured a couple megawatts of land in anticipation of SB43, who can I attempt to sell the renewable energy to, if SCE and PGE don’t need to buy the energy? Obviously we have not broken ground yet, but were anticipating selling this energy to one of the utilities. The rate of $107mWh is still I nice return regardless.

    • Brian,
      At the present time the final implementations from SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E are still in CPUC proceedings so the final versions are to be determined later near the summer time. At present PG&E is still saying that they will have separate RFOs specifically for this program; whereas SCE desires to use present RFO programs to satisfy the need, if new demand exceeds their allocation to the program.

      I am not optimistic that any program will be enabled so sustain any new market for projects from these implementations. Also they utilities are surely pushing to have an auction for such new capacity at a much lower rate that the stated desired start from the PG&E settlement.

      Your options for smaller projects are approaching zero from the present perspective, since the RAM is for larger projects and up in the air as to extension and the Re-MAT programs have no capacity.

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